The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently sitting on a 15-game road win streak, dating back to July 7. Embedded in a historically hot run, the impressive streak away from Chavez Ravine was continued Monday night with a 3-2 win over a very strong St. Louis Cardinals ball club.
The record for the most road wins in a row for the NL is 17 by the 1916 New York Giants. In order for the Dodgers to break this record, the team would need to complete the sweep over the Cardinals by winning the next three games.
Although the Dodgers may be the hottest team in baseball right now, I do not believe they will sweep the Cardinals and break the record.
The Dodgers have a very slim chance of losing Tuesday’s game. Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ perennial ace and Cy Young candidate, is facing off against young Joe Kelly. Kelly is in his second year in the majors and is making only the 22nd start of his MLB career.
With a 2-3 record and an ERA of 3.10, Kelly stands little chance against the Dodgers. Kershaw still boasts the best ERA (1.87) and WHIP (0.86) in all of baseball. The only way Kershaw could lose this game is if the Dodgers fail to produce runs, which is possible considering he only receives 3.66 runs of support per game, sixth-worst in MLB.
The game with the highest risk of loss for the Dodgers is Wednesday’s night game featuring the newest Dodger starter, Ricky Nolasco, versus young stud Shelby Miller. Although Nolasco has been very good since coming to the Dodgers, he has only pitched longer than six innings in one of his five starts with the team.
Even with the bullpen being as strong as it has been recently, the Boys in Blue will need Nolasco to go longer than five innings in order to beat Miller and the Cardinals. Miller is 11-7 in his first year as a starter with an impressive 2.89 ERA and almost 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
The final game of the series is scheduled to pit international phenom Hyun-Jin Ryu against 13-year veteran Jake Westbrook. Although Westbrook has had a decent year with a 7-6 record and a 3.48 ERA, he cannot hold a candle to Ryu, who is 10-3 with an ERA of 3.15. This game will likely go to the Dodgers.
The middle game against the Cards is going to be the pivotal game in breaking this record, but do not count St. Louis automatically out of any of these games. In the past 10 years, the Cardinals have a 44-30 record against the Dodgers, and St. Louis definitely will not be rolling over passively. Expect the Cards to win at least one of these three games and the Dodgers to come up just shy of history.